Emperor Duzong of Song

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Zhao Mengqi 趙孟启
Duzong.jpg
Emperor of Southern Song Dynasty
Reign 16 November 1264 – 12 August 1274
Predecessor Emperor Lizong
Successor Emperor Gong
Issue Emperor Duanzong of Song
Emperor Gong of Song
Emperor Bing of Song
Posthumous name
Emperor Duanwen Mingwu Jinxiao 端文明武景孝皇帝
Temple name
Duzong 度宗
Father Zhao Yurui
Mother Lady Huang, Lady of Long
Born 2 May 1240
Died 12 August 1274(1274-08-12) (aged 34)

Emperor Duzong 宋度宗 (1240–1274) was the 15th emperor of the Song Dynasty of China, and the sixth emperor of the Southern Song. His personal name was Zhao Mengqi (趙孟启). He was the nephew of Emperor Lizong and reigned from 1264 to 1274.

Duzong's reign was plagued with rebellions, warfare and upheaval. The Mongols had spent decades harassing the borders of the Southern Song and were on the verge of conquering the whole of China. Duzong ignored his duties and instead delegated all state and military affairs to the hands of his incompetent minister named Jia Sidao; the emperor instead indulged in drinking and women and lived in opulence. At first, he told the officials to be straightforward and tell him the problems in the countries, but this was all an act. Soon, he completely neglected his duties. Furthermore, he had a very high sexual appetite. Under the Song's law, any female who had a sexual relation with the emperor needs to come pay respect to the emperor in the morning. At one point, there were as many as 30 females one morning paying respect.

The last decisive battle was fought in Xiangyang (in today's Hubei province) in 1274 when the Mongols succeeded in capturing and destroying the last Song stronghold. The defeat and the loss of Xiangyang sealed the fate of the Song Dynasty and the news of its capture was deliberately hidden from Duzong by Jia.

Duzong died shortly thereafter and was succeeded by his four-year-old son. Although technically not the last emperor of the Song Dynasty, Duzong was considered the last emperor of the Song Dynasty that could have made a difference in changing the outcome or perhaps even averting the fall of the dynasty.

See also[edit]

Emperor Duzong of Song
Born: 1240 Died: 1274
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Lizong
Emperor of the Song Dynasty
1264–1274
Succeeded by
Emperor Gong